I’m Too Sexy For My Yearbook…

When you held her swaddled in that pink blanket in the hospital and as a toddler full of spit and fire you took photos of her like this:


And then as a Senior in high school, you paid a professional photographer for a photo like this?


As a semi professional photographer myself I’ve made the choice to limit my senior shoots to those that I know. I don’t really promote it but that’s because I don’t want to face the uncomfortable shots that some of these kids want. And my research of many senior photogs is that they are too-but the high school senior isn’t, and sometimes, neither are their parents.

It’s that time of the year-Senior Photos-a lucrative industry these days. Oh no, you don’t just get the draped graduation picture any more. Parents are paying upwards of thousands of dollars for professional shots of their high school senior. Overall, most are very tasteful, but a few (girls) especially walk that fine line between artful and trashy.

Parents pay big money for the congratulation ads in these yearbooks. Most have shots from toddler to teen. And the ads are for the most part very tasteful and charming. But that teen is also plastering the photo you didn’t include on Facebook and Instagram that looks like an audition shot for late night Cinemax.

Just thought I’d let ya know.

I saw one shot on Instagram last year that was unreal-while beautiful, it was obvious she was naked from the waist up, Hair blowing behind her, a studio shot, and she had her arms crossed over her chest and face in a model type pose. And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t putting together a portfolio.

I get it, in this day and age, all of our kids want to be fabulous. Famous. Your social cred is dependent on the amount of likes you get on Instagram. And it practically begins at conception.

Our kids have had cameras and video cams in their faces since they ceremoniously traveled down the birth canal to arrive in our selfie obsessed society. Hell, even ultrasounds have gone 3D.

Then, we document every triumph and tragedy of their small lives from day one to the day they graduate from high school.

Then come the senior pictures.

I really don’t get it when we push push our kids to be moral, be inclusive, be thankful, go on mission trips, go to youth group, excel in school, be strong, be proud, and then allow them to pose for a kitten shot for senior pics, or the shirtless “I have more abs than you do” shots that I’ve seen some of the guys do.


These kids may be 17 or 18, but remember, I have a feeling that when gorgeous Ashley is interviewing at the law firm in 7 years, she’ll be cringing at that sex pot shot she did in high school.

Just because they are seniors in high school still doesn’t mean they make the best decisions. You are paying for it. Have a conversation with the photographer. If you want that kind of shot, fine. But I’d be present for that shoot. Stay in the background. Let them have their 15 minutes of fame.

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You won’t regret the tasteful shot.

She will regret the tacky one.


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  1. I have been floored by some senior photos! Here is my take, Hi-School year book photo not such a big deal. A photo when you graduate college to be used for employment reasons, a big deal.

  2. I totally agree!!! I have seen some that made my mouth drop open and I am rarely speechless! Parents want to do everything their child wants and it is not always what’s best for the child. Just ask me, I teach school everyday…

  3. We did do nice photos for our girls, but they were very casual. One was at the barn, with her horse. The other was done by a friend, in a field. I think in both cases, it was more significant to us than to them. But in both cases, I would do it again. BTW, no skin in either!

  4. I totally agree! My sister asked me to take some photos of her 13 year old daughter, so I’ve spent a few hours over the last couple of days looking for posing ideas. I guess I was naive because I have been appalled at the photos I’ve seen of senior girls.

  5. This is very interesting, and much of it is new to me. I don’t think we have the same kind of yearbook in UK schools, but I could be wrong… I’ll find out next year when my older daughter is in her last year of school.
    Your point about the effects of video and photographing kids from the moment they are born is a good one, and one I hadn’t thought about – but it does happen far more with this generation than before and it could well be part of why kids are so keen to take selfies.
    Your point about pushing kids to be moral and kind and then encouraging narcissistic photos is also a good one. As with everything we need a balance, and sometimes if life tips too far one way, it tips too far the other to try to get that balance.

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